Saudi Arabia is considering the purchase of 54 Rafale fighter jets from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation SA, according to a report in La Tribune.
(Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabia is considering the purchase of 54 Rafale fighter jets from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation SA, according to a report in La Tribune.
The Gulf kingdom has asked the company to submit a proposal for a potential deal by Nov. 10, the newspaper said, citing people it didn’t identify. The country has never before ordered French military planes.
Dassault Aviation and Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries declined to comment.
Dassault Aviation is treading carefully around the potential sale because of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s historic reliance on F-15 jets made by Boeing and planes from the Eurofighter partners that include BAE Systems Plc, Germany-based Airbus Defense and Space and Leonardo SpA, La Tribune said.
Riyadh has been the top export customer for the Eurofighter in the past, but Germany suspended approvals for weapons sales to the oil-rich state after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. They had been in talks for an order for 48 jets.
Dassault Aviation has seen a string of export orders for Rafales in recent years.
Read more: Dassault Extends Rafale Warplane Blitz With Indonesia Order (2)
–With assistance from Fahad Abuljadayel.
(Updates with company declining to comment, in third paragraph.)
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